Meet Charlotte Simpson, a retired guidance counselor from Indianapolis. To date, Charlotte has visited all 50 states and over 80 countries.
We had the chance to speak with her about the importance of still traveling, even after losing her husband of 31 years.
Travel Noire: What event led you to begin this new adventure of traveling the world more?
Charlotte: When I was early in my marriage, my husband said his goal was to see all 50 states. As someone with the wanderlust spirit, I thought this was a great goal for us to accomplish together. Not only did we travel to all 50, but also to Europe, the Caribbean, and Central America with our child in tow.
When he died, my daughter and I were trying to figure out how to handle our first Christmas without him. We decided, travel! We went to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. The following summer, I took my first solo trip.
I’ve always had wanderlust. However, when you have a mate who enjoys travel and it’s a huge part of your marriage, having to get accustomed to this new lifestyle is something that occasionally had me teary-eyed as I continued to strive to enjoy travel. My husband was my perfect travel partner for 31 years. Yet, I did not want my spirit of wanderlust to die when he died.
Travel Noire: What has been your most exciting destination thus far?
Charlotte: Egypt for Christmas was my favorite. My daughter and I toured for ten days, which was 3 weeks before their revolution in January 2011. The history, sights, culture, food, and animals were unlike any previous experiences. Many Egyptians thought my daughter and I were also Egyptian, which led to some interesting, often humorous conversations. Our guide once looked at a map and tried to explain how our ancestors might have traveled from Egypt to West Africa before being stolen and shipped to America. He insisted we were distant relatives.
India is most exciting though. It’s a constant multisensory assault.
Travel Noire: Where is a bucket list destination for you?
Charlotte: Israel remains on my bucket list. I want to go with a group of like-minded, Christian people seeking an experience, not just another passport stamp. I’ve considered Rev. Tony Evans’ trip this fall or other churches that go. Intuition has never given me the go ahead on those.
I have a list of places, but I always pray for the Holy Spirit to show me where to go.